I’m looking for a story I might have read 20 years ago, possibly a short story. It had a young boy finding a special section of the library for gifted people. The father was able to find his way there by reading the special writing that only made sense to this sort of gifted person (maybe subconsciously). The children read stories which have special subtexts not apparent to normal readers. The boy understands them. The boy and father are both tested and it turns out that the father has a nonfunctional variant if the mutation which allows him to read the hidden messages but is not otherwise gifted.


1 Answer 1


"The Children's Room" by Raymond F. Jones, as per Short Story - Next stage of human evolution has a language they all understand. Protagonist is father who can only read it and Human evolution mutants secret school story.

A couple -- Bill and Rose -- are having increasing difficulties with their son Walt: he talks down to his parents like they are stupid and reads books written in a language that no one understands. The books come from a "children's room" that supposedly does not exist. Once the room is discovered its true meaning is revealed.

It can be read online here.

  • Great find, thanks! I searched here without finding it.
    – Charles
    Commented Aug 13, 2023 at 23:12
  • 1
    @Charles: Yeah. The in-site searching is tricky because it requires exact words. I knew this one existed because I asked about it before. :) So I knew some keywords that were bound to turn up.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 4:19

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